An Arts Festival That Knows No Bounds
Founded in 2007 by David Pecaut and Tony Gagliano, Luminato Festival Toronto is an international arts festival dedicated to big, bold contemporary works of art that cut across traditional artistic boundaries of music, dance, theatre, and visual art. Originally created to help Toronto rebuild after the SARS epidemic, Luminato works at the intersection of artists, spectators, and city spaces to produce once-in-a-lifetime experiences that highlight the very best of our city, region, and country.
Each June, Luminato kicks off the summer with a festival that welcomes the world to Toronto. In its first decade, Luminato became a preeminent international arts festival in North America, with more than 3,600 performances featuring 15,000+ artists from over 40 countries. Today, the festival is one of Canada’s most active commissioning bodies, having commissioned 100+ new works across artistic disciplines.
We believe that the arts are essential in building stronger, more connected communities and that creativity can inspire and change the world. In our increasingly complex world, Luminato provides a creative sanctuary that starts conversations, inspires audiences, and gives art a real-world context.
An accomplished civic leader and humanitarian, David worked tirelessly on initiatives designed to make our city and country a better place.
Co-Founder, Chair Emeritus
Tony Gagliano presently serves as Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of St. Joseph Communications.
The land we gather on is the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Chippewa, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Wendat Confederacy, and many other Indigenous peoples, both known and unknown. This territory is subject to Treaty 13 and the Dish With One Spoon Wampum Belt Covenant and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples from across Turtle Island. Luminato acknowledges our responsibilities to these territorial agreements and to peaceably share and care for the resources of this land while aspiring to embody the treaties through our actions, our relationship-building, and our programs. Luminato is grateful to have the opportunity to work with many diverse Indigenous nations on this territory and with other guests on this land.
An accomplished civic leader and humanitarian, Luminato co-founder David Pecaut had a clear and ambitious vision for the role Luminato would play in the hearts, minds, and creativity of Torontonians:
Luminato began as a dream that each year Toronto would invite the world to join us in celebrating creativity. A dream where the best artists in the world and the best artists in Canada fill the stage that is Toronto with new and wonderful creations. Today that dream has become the reality of a boisterous festival sprawling all over the city with music, theatre, dance, visual arts, literature, film and celebrations of all kinds.
Luminato is a hugely personal and collective enterprise. It is a shared spectacle. At its core Luminato is about the creativity in each one of us. Luminato is a time, a place and a set of experiences where each of us can reconnect with the creative in ourselves. The dream of Luminato is that each of us can discover and share our innate creativity. And in doing so, connect with one another as a community in the most powerful way we know.”— David Pecault, June 2009
By consistently upholding the below values, together we seek to build a positive, ambitious culture at Luminato that is professionally rewarding and personally enjoyable.
We encourage the fairness, trust, and transparency that are essential for rewarding interactions internally, within our communities, and with our artists and audiences.
We embrace the diverse thoughts and voices of our communities and work together to create an open and safe environment.
We empower and welcome the innovation that will shape our bold visions for the future.
We embody an unwavering commitment to greatness across our programming, staff, and collaborators.
Above all, we respect each other.
Our Leadership Team
Well-known as an effective manager who’s mentored hundreds of people now working in leadership roles across the city, CEO Celia Smith has spent her entire career in the arts and culture sector in both the non-profit and private sectors. Smith has served as the General Manager of the Canadian Stage Company and Board Chair of the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts.
An award-winning producer, director, stage manager and curator, Naomi Campbell has over 30 years of experience working across all performing arts disciplines. Campbell has staged over 60 new Canadian performance pieces with companies including Nightswimming, Mammalian Diving Reflex (the international hit Haircuts by Children), DVxT Theatre, the late Paul Bettis’ Civilized Theatre, VideoCabaret, and numerous independent artists.